C’River ‘ll become largest cocoa producer in Nigeria soon – CFAN President – Newstrends
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C’River ‘ll become largest cocoa producer in Nigeria soon – CFAN President

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C’River ‘ll become largest cocoa producer in Nigeria soon – CFAN President

NATIONAL President of Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria (CFAN), Mr Adeola Adegoke, has said that Cross River will soon become the largest producer of cocoa in Nigeria.

Adegoke stated this at the inauguration of the Executive Committee of CFAN in Cross River’s, on Friday in Calabar.

According to him, Ondo State is presently known to be the largest producer of the crop in the country.

He said that the average age of a cocoa farmer in the state was between 55 and 60, describing this as an ageing population.

Adegoke said that Cross River had the potential in massive land and forest for cocoa farming, coupled with the youthful population cultivating the crop in the state.

Though the CFAN national president acknowledged the potentials, he, however, said that the state had to tap into them to succeed, as cocoa alone could run the state’s economy effectively.

“Enough of talking about cocoa estates established by the old Eastern Region. We need to start establishing new estates now.

“We want to see nothing less than 1,000 hectares of new cocoa estates established by the state.

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“Enough of export of raw cocoa beans. We need to start adding value and coming up with cocoa wines, biscuits, sweets and soaps that we can consume and export.

“We cannot prosper by just exporting raw cocoa beans. It is, therefore, important for the state government to be deliberate in infrastructural development in cocoa farming communities,’’ he said.

Adegoke also stressed the need for extension services in the state through innovation.

He urged CFAN members to repay the loans they collected from government and also pay their annual dues to the association.

The CFAN national president disclosed that in 2024, the Third Cocoa Festival would be held in Calabar.

On his part, Gov. Bassey Otu, represented by Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Anthony Owan-Enoh, said that the state would do all within its powers to ensure that cocoa farmers got all the necessary inputs.

According to him, the state has been shortchanged for so long because it produces cocoa but doesn’t get the necessary recognition.

“Others come to the state to buy their cocoa but at the end, it is not counted for Cross River as the producing state.

“Going forward, Cross River will produce, sell and export, because we have the capacity and the farmers will get maximum yields for their investments.

“I will have a private meeting with the newly-inaugurated chairman of CFAN in the state, where he will table the concerns of the farmers so we can chart a new course for the sector,” he said.

In his remarks, the new CFAN chairman, Dr Ramsey Tiku, said that cocoa remained the mainstay of the state’s econony.

According to him, if cocoa development is relegated, the state will be relegating the development of its people.

Tiku said that CFAN would partner with different groups and ministries to create an action plan that would add value to cocoa production in the state.

While thanking members of the association for the confidence reposed in him, he stressed the need for them to start looking at the regeneration of cocoa estates in the state and how to generate data for farmers.

C’River ‘ll become largest cocoa producer in Nigeria soon – CFAN President

(NAN)

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Fuel scarcity: We buy petrol from third party at inflated rate, says IPMAN

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Fuel scarcity: We buy petrol from third party at inflated rate, says IPMAN

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has demanded 50 per cent petrol allocation from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited as a condition to reduce prices and queues in filling stations.

IPMAN National Vice-President, Hammed Fasola, stated this, saying members were buying fuel at inflated rate from the third party.

Speaking with NAN on this issue, Fasola said the fuel scarcity was due to low allocation.

He said if IPMAN members received petrol directly from NNPC, the price per litre would be more affordable for Nigerians, and help reduce the queues at filling stations.

He said IPMAN members were selling petrol at higher prices because they purchased the product at inflated rates from third parties.

The vice-president said the association has submitted its stance on petrol allocation to the NNPC, requesting that it be increased to 50 percent, as it was in the past.

“It is not that we don’t get at all, we are getting a little, and when you compare our number in this sector; our members own 80 percent of the filling stations. In the past, it was not like this,” Fasola said.

“We had a share of 50 percent but recently, things have changed, and we are trying to talk to the authorities, especially the NNPC that they have to correct that abnormality.

“We are still trying to address the issue. This is why the independent marketers are selling at a higher price, which is not good for our image.”

Fasola said its members were being forced to buy petrol from private depot owners, which they find unacceptable.

“We go there sometimes, and they will sell at N720 per litre, and in their own stations, they are selling N620 or N650 per litre; you can see the disparity and the public will not understand,” he said.

“This is why we are trying to educate the people that we are not shrewd business people who want to milk Nigerians.

“Some filling stations have closed for business because they can’t cope – this is the situation we found ourselves in; until the government corrects it and everybody is on the same level.”

He appealed to the NNPC to rectify the allocation issues so that IPMAN members can obtain fuel directly and fairly, benefiting both the marketers and the public.

On the purported increase in petrol price, Fasola dismissed it as “fake news,” stating that the association has not received any official information regarding such a change.

On July 8, queues for petrol resurfaced across filling stations in Lagos and the federal capital territory (FCT).

Speaking on the situation, Clement Isong, executive secretary at Major Energies Marketers Association of Nigeria (MEMAN), said the delay in loading petroleum products at depots was a contributory factor to the situation.

On its part, NNPC said the petrol queues in the FCT were caused by the disruption of ship-to-ship (STS) transfer of petrol between mother vessels and daughter vessels.

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We’re committed to Tinubu’s Pi-CNG initiative, says Cedric Masters Group

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We’re committed to Tinubu’s Pi-CNG initiative, says Cedric Masters Group

Cedric Masters Group says it is committed to achieving the mandate of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu towards the conversion of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) considered cheaper and cleaner to run.

Amselm Ilekuba, Chairman and chief executive of the group who disclosed this also said Cedric Masters Group is lucky to be among the first promoters of the Pi-CNG initiative of President Tinubu.

He said apart from creating huge employment for Nigerians with other positive spin-off effects and businesses, he would in collaboration with his technical team transfer the CNG conversion skill acquired at the CNG Centre in Texas, Houston.

This, he pointed out, was one of the core areas that would generate massive jobs for the people.

The Cedric Masters Group boss made this commitment when he received Joseph Osanipin, director-general of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), and his team during a facility tour of the upcoming local automobile assembler located along the Lekki-Ajah Expressway, Lagos.

The NADDC DG accompanied by Sani Musa, the director of policy and planning and other staff of the agency, on Monday this week embarked on a tour of some auto assembly plants in the South-West.

Cedric Masters Group is a conglomerate that is also into automobile and component parts.

The company manufactures component parts from its facility in the South-East while for proximity and business expansion purposes, it is setting up its assembly plant in Lagos.

Cedric Autos got the assembly licence with a clear mandate from the NADDC to start rolling out locally assembled vehicles from the plant within 18 months.

Ilekuba expressed delight over the visit by the auto assembly regulatory agency, adding that the physical construction of the plant, the cable laying were in progress.

He said, “I am happy that they have come today to see how far we have gone with the physical construction, the cable laying; the equipment and every other facility has started coming. What we are waiting for now is the installation of all the equipment by our foreign partners.”

The full set of state-of-the-art automobile assembly equipment to be installed comprises automatic assembly line, post floor plate car lift with Solemoid unlock, scissor lift, four post flour plate car lift for 4-wheel alignment, semi automatic tyre changer, wheel balancer, air conditioning handling system and screw air compressor complete set-split type.

Others are movable manual hydraulic jack, foldable shop crane, transmission jack, hand hydraulic table truck, mobile pneumatic oil filling machine, paint spray booth, rear axle distribution rack, cargo lift, component of rain test (water nozzle and booster pump) and forklift.

Meanwhile, Cedric Masters said it started its staff recruitment and training in the past months with payment in preparation for a official roll-out of the brand to Nigerians very soon.

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Lanre Shittu assembly plant for trucks, pickups excites NADDC DG

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Lanre Shittu assembly plant for trucks, pickups excites NADDC DG

Director General of National Automotive Design And Development Council, Mr. Joseph Osanipin, has expressed satisfaction with the state of Lanre Shittu auto assembly plant and the volume of work being carried out there.

He specifically commended the company for focusing on the assembling of commercial vehicles, especially trucks and pickups as well as the compressed natural gas (CNG)-powered vehicles.

The DG spoke after inspecting the LSM auto assembly plant in Lagos and was taken through the process of putting the JAC truck components together as well as conversion of LSM pickups to run on CNG.

Osanipin said, “I’m very impressed with what I saw here. Lanre Shittu Motors has picked where its strength is – the pickups and trucks.

“I’m also impressed about their human capital development. We have seen the training facility and capacity. We also saw the spare parts. It means they are ready to support their vehicles with sufficient parts when the need arises.

“I have seen capacity and ability to meet the demand of the market. What we have seen here, I’m not too surprised because Lanre Shittu Motors has been there over the years.”

About 95 per cent of the workers engaged at both truck and pickup sections of the plant are Nigerians.

The DG spoke on the readiness of industry for the CNG-powered vehicles, saying, “From my assessment of what the LSM is doing, it means the assemblers are ready for the CNG vehicle initiative.”

He urged Nigerians to embrace the initiative, noting that it is cost-effective.

“Again, looking at the safety measures being put in place here at LSM, it shows we are ready for CNG. The next set of conversion to be done here will be the trucks,” he said.

Managing Director of Lanre Shittu Motors, Mr. Taiwo Shittu, said the company had delivered some CNG-powered mass transit buses for airport shuttle.

He disclosed that LSM could do six units daily, adding that the firm saw the huge business in the CNG-powered vehicles shortly after the removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government and went straight into it.

He said, “We know from our knowledge of automobile – this is our 43 years in the industry – that once the fuel subsidy is removed, the next option is the CNG. So we went straight into CNG vehicles.

“As we speak, we are converting our vehicles to run on CNG. We have our CNG conversion kits on the ground. We have mass transit buses already at the airports for shuttle, assembled here in Nigeria.

“Another set of CNG mass transit buses have arrived at the seaport and being cleared. This will be for commercial operation. And it will reduce operation cost by twenty-five per cent.

Shittu said LSM placed premium on after-sale support, with over N2 billion worth of spare parts in its store.

“For any vehicle or auto brand to survive in Nigeria, after-sale support is very important.

“We have been sole distributor in Nigeria for many brands including MAN and JAC. Having passed through this stage, we understand that no vehicle brand can make any headway in the country without adequate parts.

“A lot of made-in-Nigeria vehicles failed in the past because the handlers did not realise that without sufficient spare parts, they cannot survive” he said.

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